NBA commissioner David Stern sat down with TNT's David Aldridge for an interview that touched upon the state of some of the league's franchises, free agency, Stern's future, and much more. It's worth watching the whole conversation at NBA.com, but here are a few of the highlights:
- The list of prospective buyers for the Hornets has been narrowed to two, with "one in the lead." Stern hopes to finalize a deal within the next couple weeks.
- An agreement with the state of Louisiana on the team and arena is close, and Stern says he expects to get a "very fair" contribution from the state on the lease, which won't have an out clause.
- Stern defended his preseason decision on Chris Paul by explaining that he was acting as the Hornets owner rather than as the NBA commissioner when he decided not to sign off on the trade that would've sent Paul to the Lakers. He says he'll continue to operate in the same way until a new owner is in place.
- The Kings have agreed to put money toward the financing plan for Sacramento's new arena, though Stern didn't specify how much. He added that any contribution by AEG, the probable arena operator, would be seen as a team contribution as well.